Yeah, I'm shameless and will post on my post. 18 gn of BP isn't much. I'm not sure of how the strength factor of a larger size top-break would compare to the solid frame, smaller Bulldog. I read where some folks were loading for top-breaks w/2 gn of unique. I don't reload, but I do remember firing 60-90 gn of BP out of a 50 cal muzzleloader. Then I accidentally dumped 2-60gn preloads and didn't even bother w/wad. Slapped on a cap and pointed powder at a tree. Lotta smoke.
The little Bull-Dog sure looks like a Belgian-Webley knock-off. Squatty, checkered, percha-gutta ball grips, screw on trigger guard, half notch, SA/DA trigger, swing out hull extractor, loading gate, that funky, flying check mark of a hammer and "British Bull-Dog screams, "I came from across the pond."
Yet, no proof marks, the odd cross symbol combined w/Forehand & Wadsworth on the barrel and that Trade Mark bulldog stamped in the side makes ya go humm.
An inexpensive, one-piece frame design that works well w/short barreled, pocket pistola combining a fluted cylinder and an almost traditional cylinder mini-flutes that guides the cylinder lock into a surprisingly rock solid lock-up. The oval shaped barrel, w/extra meat on the top flat, makes for an inexpensive area to slot for a front sight while the internal rib design adds strength to the assembly.
Why did they bother w/SA on a belly gun? Was this a throw back to dueling on the field of honor?
BTW, look what I found concerning BP charges:
38 short rimfire is in the same class as the centerfire 38 short Colt. Originally 130 gr boolit and 18 gr BP. Outside lub .375"
38 long rimfire 150/18gr. Some 140-150 up to 21gr.
Both 38's from 1866.
41 short (Derringer) 130/13 gr. Good for mice and sparrows or moral boosting. intro 1863
41 Long originates 1873 163/13-15gr the centerfire 41 short is an outgrowth of this cartridge and guns chambered for the long could shoot the 41 short centerfire. In power this cartridge is in the same class as the 38 S&W centerfire in black powder loading.
Then I came across an old posting.
I just found a line drawing of a Webley British Bulldog in Cartridges of the World, 4th Edition.
It's the spitting image of the guns pictured above.
The caliber it is associated with is the .44 Bull Dog.
"The .44 Bull Dog appears to have originated about 1880, perhaps a year or two prior to that. The first reference the author could locate was in the 1880 Homer Fisher Gun Catalog, reproduced in L.D. Satterlee's Ten Old Gun Catalogs. British Webley Bulld Dog revolvers are advertised therein. American companies loaded the round up to about 1938-39. The 1933 Winchester catalog lists it as for "Webley, British Bull Dog and H&R revolvers."
The Bull God type pocket revolver was quite popular through the late 1800s. The .44 Bull Dog cartridge was much superior to some of the rimfire calibers of that period. It provided reasonably good short-range stopping power in a fairly compact weapon. However, it is solely a short-range self-defense round of little value for antyhing else. It is in the same general class as the .41 Short Colt. The cartridge has been obsolete for a good many years. Both black and smokeless loadings are encountered."
The ballistics list a 168 to 170 gr. bullet, a muzzle velocity of 460 fps., and a muzzle energy of 80 foot pounds!
Each camp has their points.
Maybe the key to the mystery lies in the style of ampersound.
Why is the design the letter 8 on about a 40 degree CW list w/separate, small capital L, w/acute angle instead of 90 degree, to the side?
Why didn't they make the ampersound as a one piece image
How does it compare w/ Webley & Sons or Webley & Scott?
As well, what's the meaning of the cross and why a period @ the end?
Maybe, if we can find other examples, of what I call the lazy 8 ampersound, the muddied waters will partially clear...